Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell & Opinions on Cardi B

For country singer/songwriter Jason Isbell's latest record, The Nashville Sound, he wrote about his role as a father and an artist in today's America. It ended up being his most political album yet, addressing issues like white privilege and working class frustrations. Jason joins Jim and Greg to talk about songwriting, ethics, sobriety, and performs a special acoustic set. Plus, the hosts review the debut studio album from rap sensation Cardi B.

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This week, the Pulitzer Prize for musical composition went to Kendrick Lamar for his 2017 album DAMN. Lamar is the first non-classical or jazz performer to win the prize. According to the Pulitzers, DAMN. is“a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”Jim wonders if this is a case of the Pulitzer committee "trying to match the Nobel Prize committee giving a Nobel to Bob Dylan?" Greg suggests that the Pulitzers did“a better job of recognizing genius”than the Grammies did. He adds that he fact that DAMN. did not win the Grammy for Album of the Year "is magnified now."

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Jason Isbell

For his latest record, The Nashvillve Sound, Grammy-wining country singer Jason Isbell set out to document his life as a father and an artist in 2017. What came out of that process is an album that has been described as his most political yet.“It came out political because what else is there in the public consciousness right now if not that?”Jason asks in an interview with Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis. Jason Isbell came by our studios to talk about performing during a politically divided time, how his time in Drive-By Truckers spurred his songwriting, and how vampires works as a great topic for a love song. He also performed a solo acoustic set.

reviewInvasion of PrivacyInvasion of Privacy available on iTunes

Cardi B Invasion of Privacy

Right now, Bronx rapper Cardi B is everywhere after she dropped her debut studio album Invasion of Privacy. Cardi gained notoriety through Instagram and as a cast member on the reality show Love & Hip Hop New York, but her musical prowess and work ethic are at the forefront now (her mega hit "Bodak Yellow" is still a dominant presence on the charts a year after its release.) Jim has some problems with this record because of its frequent usage of the“b word”and excessive mentions of material items. However, he praises Cardi for her intelligent and humorous lyrics and how she is an empowering figure to young people of all colors and gender identities. Jim gives it a Try It. Greg agrees that he could do without some of the commercialization, but highlights the catchy hooks and vibe of the album. He also notes that Cardi B has been discerning with this record, showing the juxtaposition of strength and vulnerability and is the driver's seat of her career. Even if rap isn't your thing, Greg believes Invasion of Privacy is a must-listen and a Buy It.

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“Ladies First”Queen Latifah,Monie Love,Queen Latifah

Jim dropped a coin in the Desert Island Jukebox this week and, inspired by Cardi B, selected "Ladies First" by Queen Latifah featuring Monie Love. Jim says that "female empowerment in hip hop starts with this phenomenal single," which was released in 1989. He loves the way "these women say we can do this, [and] we are not going to listen to anyone who says we can't." He notes that many people think of Queen Latifah primarily as an actress today, but“when she was on her game in hip hop, nobody was better.”

Featured Songs

  1. Cardi B, Best Life (feat. Chance the Rapper), Invasion of Privacy, Atlantic, 2018
  2. Kendrick Lamar, FEEL., DAMN., Top Dawg, 2017
  3. Kendrick Lamar, LOYALTY. (feat. Rihanna), DAMN., Top Dawg, 2017
  4. Kendrick Lamar, i, To Pimp a Butterfly, Top Dawg, 2015
  5. Kendrick Lamar, HUMBLE., DAMN., Top Dawg, 2017
  6. Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, Anxiety, The Nashville Sound, Southeastern, 2017
  7. Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, Hope The High Road, The Nashville Sound, Southeastern, 2017
  8. Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, White Man's World (Live on Sound Opinions), The Nashville Sound, Southeastern, 2017
  9. Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, Tupelo, The Nashville Sound, Southeastern, 2017
  10. Aretha Franklin, Do Right Woman - Do Right Man, I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) (single), Atlantic, 1967
  11. Jason Isbell, Chicago Promenade, Sirens Of The Ditch, New West, 2007
  12. Drive-By Truckers, Outfit, Decoration Day, New West, 2003
  13. Drive-By Truckers, Decoration Day, Decoration Day, New West, 2003
  14. Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, Last Of My Kind (Live on Sound Opinions), The Nashville Sound, Southeastern, 2017
  15. Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, If We Were Vampires, The Nashville Sound, Southeastern, 2017
  16. Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, Molotov, The Nashville Sound, Southeastern, 2017
  17. Cardi B, Bodak Yellow, Invasion of Privacy, Atlantic, 2018
  18. Cardi B, I Like It (feat. Bad Bunny & J Balvin), Invasion of Privacy, Atlantic, 2018
  19. Cardi B, I Do (feat. SZA), Invasion of Privacy, Atlantic, 2018
  20. Cardi B, Ring (feat. Kehlani), Invasion of Privacy, Atlantic, 2018
  21. Queen Latifah, Ladies First (feat. Monie Love), Ladies First (single), Tommy Boy, 1989
  22. Michel'le, No More Lies, Michel'le, Ruthless, 1989
  23. Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles, Clear Spot, Reprise, 1972
  24. Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, Zig Zag Wanderer, Safe as Milk, Buddah, 1967
  25. Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, Veteran's Day Poppy, Trout Mask Replica, Straight Records, 1969